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Testing Gravity

3. The Big Picture of Physics and the Four Fundamental Forces

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In this mini-lecture, we introduce the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity under the Theory of General Relativity, and the electromagnetic force, weak force, and strong force under the Standard Model of Particle Physics. In particular, we (i) explain that these two models are incompatible and compare their differences; (ii) introduce dark matter and dark energy as unknowns that are not well accounted for in either model; and (iii) explore the possibility of a unifying ‘Theory of Everything’ that could be reached by discovering a violation of the Equivalence Principle.


In this course, Professor Jens Gundlach (University of Washington) explores gravity, in particular, gravity experiments. In the first mini-lecture, we give an overview of how our understanding of gravity and the Universe has evolved from ancient to modern times, emphasising various experiments, observations and theories that developed along the way. In the second mini-lecture, we introduce the modern theory of gravity, General Relativity. The third mini-lecture explores the big picture of physics, discussing the incompatibility between General Relativity and the Standard Model, and how physicists are searching for a unifying ‘Theory of Everything.’ In the fourth and fifth mini-lectures we turn towards gravity experiments, including those done at the University of Washington. In particular, we discuss experiments that test for Equivalence Principle violation and precisely measure the gravitational constant G.


Jens Gundlach is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He was a recipient of the 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for precision fundamental measurements that test our understanding of gravity, probe the nature of dark energy, and establish limits on couplings to dark matter. Naturally, his research interests include experimental fundamental physics, however Professor Gundlach also conducts research in biophysics. In particular, he is interested in nanopore sequencing of DNA.

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APA style

Gundlach, J. (2022, January 12). Testing Gravity - The Big Picture of Physics and the Four Fundamental Forces [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gundlach, Jens. "Testing Gravity – The Big Picture of Physics and the Four Fundamental Forces." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 Jan 2022,

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